Two seat cushions likely to have come from missing Cardiff City star’s plane are found washed up on a beach in France 30 miles from where aircraft disappeared off radar
Crash investigators have found two seat cushions which they believe are from the plane which was carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala when it disappeared over the English Channel.
Search crews have been scouring the sea around the Channel Islands since the Piper Malibu disappeared from radar on Monday, January 21.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said today: ‘On the morning of Monday 28 January, we were advised by the the French safety investigation authority, that part of a seat cushion had been found on a beach near Surainville on the Cotentin Peninsula.
‘A second cushion was found in the same area later that day. From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.’
A light aircraft carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala disappeared from radar last week
Investigators believe they have found two seats from the plane in the Channel on Monday
The two seats were found on a beach near on the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy
The AAIB statement said: ‘We currently expect our underwater seabed search to start at the end of this weekend and to take up to three days. Side-scan sonar equipment will be used to try to locate the wreckage on the seabed.
‘If the wreckage is found, a remotely operated vehicle will be used to visually examine the wreckage.’
The statement added: ‘We are aware that a privately operated search is also being conducted in the area, and we are liaising closely with those involved to maximise the chance of locating any wreckage and ensure a safe search operation.’
The light aircraft carrying 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared on January 21 after losing contact with Jersey air traffic control on its journey from Nantes to Cardiff.
On Monday, the footballer’s mother Mercedes and sister Romina flew over the area where Sala’s plane was last located.
The group travelled on a twin-engine Dornier 228-212 plane which flew from Guernsey Airport and circled the island of Alderney, a week after the plane Sala was in dropped off the radar.